The Spanish government seems to be back-peddling in the face of widespread condemnation over its continued support of Cuban repression. In what were called “frank and cordial” discussions on topics ranging from the death penalty to the treatment of prisoners in Cuba, Spanish officials attempted to present themselves as diplomats concerned with human rights on the island and abroad.
This despite the fact that Spain continues to be one of the Castro government’s biggest providers of funding for use in the suppression of basic, God-given rights. That cat is already well out of the bag however, and no amount of whitewashing Spain’s support of human rights violators can de-claw the truth.
What is perhaps just as ridiculous is the fact that in his coverage of the story, AP writer Will Weissert commented that “Many governments and rights organizations around the world accuse Cuba of violating liberties by jailing critics and limiting speech and press freedoms.”
Many countries and organizations accuse Cuba? There is no argument on this topic, Mr. Weissert. Perhaps that sentence should have read: Governments and rights organizations around the world continue to highlight Cuba’s continued violation of basic liberties by jailing critics and limiting speech and press freedoms.
Weissert’s well-worded sentence is a compromise on journalistic ethics, meant to keep safe, the AP’s precious Havana bureau. Of course, this practice isn’t anything new. CNN has in the past, admitted to playing down atrocious rights violations under the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein in a similar ploy.
This isn’t to say that international news bureaus should simply pack up and leave Havana however, basic ethical news coverage is severely lacking when it comes to Cuba. Some introspection is in order here.